Events Calendar

Search for



Blooms & Butterflies

March 8–September 28, 2014

The 20th anniversary of this popular exhibition features hundreds of colorful, exotic butterflies flying freely in the Pacific Island Water Garden, a warm and tropical haven filled with bright nectar blooms. See new butterflies emerge from their chrysalises, then watch them take their first flight during daily presentations at 1 and 3pm. Stroll the outdoor gardens with a staff member to observe native butterflies and learn about the plants that attract them on Saturdays at 11am.

Blue Butterflies: Migration Across America
May 17–September 21
Indiana-based artist Tasha Lewis transforms the Cardinal Health Gallery with 4,000 cyanotype butterflies printed on cotton fabric. These butterflies have been installed in public spaces across the country. Watch Tasha Lewis' recent interview with WOSU's Broad & High here.

Amazing Butterflies
Explore this interactive maze that takes children on a journey to become a butterfly. Learn more

Blooms & Butterflies is sponsored by Cardinal Health Foundation, Giant Eagle, and Honda of America Mfg., Inc.

Amazing Butterflies

May 17–September 21

Families explore this outdoor, interactive experience and learn about the surprising challenges butterflies face every day. Adventure through the leaves, learn how to move like a caterpillar, discover an ant that reaps the reward of an unusual friendship, then transform into a butterfly to take flight! Created by The Natural History Museum in London and Minotaur Mazes.

Summer Bonsai Show

June 14–September 21, 2014

Enjoy the Conservatory's Bonsai Collection and learn about this traditional Japanese art form. 

Nine tropical bonsai, accompanied by Dale Chihuly’s Niijima Floats, are placed among the foliage displays in the Dorothy M. Davis Showhouse, while an additional eight trees are on view in the outdoor courtyard and Zen Terrace. Members of the Columbus Bonsai Society answer questions and provide demonstrations on caring for bonsai on Saturdays, 1–4pm

Scary Plants

September 27–November 9, 2014

Celebrating the oddities of nature, Scary Plants provides an up-close view at strange, frightening, and even dangerous species. Discover bizarre, exotic botanicals, explore the appetite of carnivorous plants, and find out what could be lurking in your own backyard. 

Four larger-than-life sculptures, custom designed and built by Columbus-based TORK, Inc. give a bugs-eye perspective of carnivorous plants like the Venus fly trap and pitcher plant. 

Scary Plant Demonstrations
See what happens when you touch the sensitive plant, witness a Venus fly trap feeding, and learn more about the plants in the exhibition during 20-minute demonstrations, daily at 2pm. 

Opening Day
Saturday, September 27
Meet The Bugman, 11am–2pm. Save 20% on Venus fly traps, pitcher plants, cactus and Scary Plant kits in Botanica. 

Merry & Bright

November 15, 2014–January 4, 2015

An annual family favorite, Merry & Bright celebrates the holiday season with elegant poinsettias and seasonal foliage, time-honored traditions like the poinsettia tree and Paul Busse model garden railway, and an array of special entertainment and family activities.  

Visit in the evening to enjoy festive lighting throughout the Conservatory's warm and inviting plant collections. Open until 10pm on November 19, 26, 28–30, December 3, 10, 17, 19–31 and January 1–4.

Registration Open
8th Annual Gingerbread Competition

Show off your creativity! Register in one of four categories – Youth, Teen, Adult or Family – by November 30 and deliver your completed entry on November 29 or November 30.  First, second and third place prizes are awarded in each category, and patrons select a Best of Show. All entries are displayed beginning December 2, 2014.  Download a registration form and contest rules. 


January 10–April 5, 2015

Chase away winter’s chill! Hundreds of colorful and delicate orchids provide respite from winter’s gray skies. A gallery exhibition of botanical illustration interpreting years of global botanical discovery accompanies an array of orchid displays throughout the Conservatory.

Savage Gardens


Savage Gardens: The Real and Imaginary World of Carnivorous Plants is a rentable exhibition that was developed and designed by Conservatory staff. A multi-layered, multi-media exhibition, Savage Gardens tells the story of carnivorous plants and their astounding ability to adapt to inhospitable habitats.

Combining science, botany, art, humor, and hands-on activity, Savage Gardens reaches all ages with its rich components. Four monumental sculptures render viewers bug-sized, while interactive and interpretive elements educate and entertain.

The Conservatory has worked with the artists to ensure the portability of the large sculptures and other components. Learn more about detailed specifications and images of the components, as well as some of the media coverage that Savage Gardens received while on view at the Conservatory. 
Savage Gardens was developed and created by Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens and Tork, Inc. The work displayed is protected by copyright and any copying is strictly prohibited.

About Tork, Inc.
Tork is a team of experienced and versatile trained artists headed by owners Mark Lagergren and Tony Ball. Tork has been creating unique sculptural installations and functional works for commercial and individual clients for more than 10 years. Adept at working on both large-scale public installations and small detailed objects, we collaborate with architects, designers, and contractors to meet site specific goals. Our sculpture has been placed in a variety of environments including public parks, playgrounds, gardens, hospitals, museums, corporate interiors and exteriors, and restaurants. We specialize in metal and resin design, fabrication, sculpting, and casting in unique combinations of materials. Learn More